noun per·il \ˈper-əl, ˈpe-rəl\

: the possibility that you will be hurt or killed or that something unpleasant or bad will happen

: something that is likely to cause injury, pain, harm, or loss

Full Definition of PERIL

:  exposure to the risk of being injured, destroyed, or lost :  danger <fire put the city in peril>
:  something that imperils or endangers :  risk <lessen the perils of the streets>

Examples of PERIL

  1. People are unaware of the peril these miners face each day.
  2. She described global warming as a growing peril.
  3. Just last week he issued a statement encouraging all Iraqis to participate in the election scheduled for January, and he called on the Iraqi government to start registering voters. The powers that be in Iraq ignore him at their peril. —Johanna McGeary, Time, 25 Oct. 2004

Origin of PERIL

Middle English, from Anglo-French, from Latin periculum — more at fear
First Known Use: 13th century

Rhymes with PERIL


verb per·il \ˈper-əl, ˈpe-rəl\
per·iled also per·illedper·il·ing also per·il·ling

Definition of PERIL

transitive verb
:  to expose to danger

Examples of PERIL

  1. <a tribute to the men and women who, as firefighters, peril their lives daily>
  2. … she did more harm than all Frederick's diplomacy could repair, and perilled her chance of her inheritance like a giddy heedless creature as she was. —William Makepeace Thackeray, Vanity Fair, 1848

Origin of PERIL

(see 1peril)
First Known Use: 1567
PERILLING Defined for Kids


noun per·il \ˈper-əl\

Definition of PERIL for Kids

:  the state of being in great danger <The storm put our ship in peril.>
:  a cause or source of danger <the perils of skydiving>


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